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8 Things Social Media Listening Can Do For Your Brand

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8 Things Social Media Listening Can Do For Your Brand

Just about any business has a social media presence. Regardless of which platform, it’s almost impossible to grow a brand’s online presence without a social media presence.

So it should come as no surprise that B2B brands also need an effective social media strategy to foster growth and customer interaction.

And social listening can help you aid in both the growth and daily operation of your business. Social media listening also enables you to avoid making a reputation for all the wrong reasons.

But there’s a lot more to social media listening than replying to every Twitter reply or liking every Instagram comment you get.

Social media listening can turn Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whichever is your poison into a significant touchpoint for your brand when done right.

But you need to keep an ear (or eye) out for the right things.

In this article, you’ll see:

  • The difference between social media monitoring and listening
  • What you should listen for on social media
  • How these things help your brand

Let’s dive in.

Social Media Monitoring vs Social Media Listening

There’s a fine line between social media listening and monitoring. While they do, at times, overlap, it’s essential to have a separate strategy for both.

Monitoring sees the football players, whereas listening sees the match.

Social media monitoring is taking time every day to listen to what’s being talked about online. Internet pop culture involving brands, trends, people, as well as politics, too. These things combine to create the online world that your product exists in. It’s critical that you consider these things when marketing your brand and supporting your customers.

On the other hand, social media listening is the process of finding and analyzing real discussion about your brand, product, or a problem that your product solves. Effective social media listening helps build brand awareness and foster a positive reputation for those that can benefit from your brand’s presence.

As a socially conscious brand, Ben & Jerrys used the BLM movement to affirm their stance and show that they’re responsible for helping change social norms.

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This is a fine example of a brand’s proactive approach to social media monitoring.

Below is a fine example of American Burger chain, Wendy’s, using social media listening to interact with both positive and negative feedback:

1641971468 721 8 Things Social Media Listening Can Do For Your Brand

Let’s dive in and see how you can use social media listening for your brand:

#1 – Find Honest Feedback

Remember when, as a kid, your mum put your stick-figure drawings on the fridge because it was ‘so beautiful’? That’s not really the feedback that’s going to help improve your artistic skills. You needed your mum to say ‘that’s cute honey, but daddy doesn’t have green hair.’

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Honest feedback is critical. Not just for your childhood art skills, but your developing brand. And social media listening is key to finding that honest, unabashed feedback.

Reddit, Quora, and niche forums are made up of active users that regularly share their thoughts on a product or service.

Below, you can see a Quora post asking if the SEO tool, Ahrefs, is effective.

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Suppose your product is spoken about on one of these channels. In this case, it can be a gold mine of improvement for your brand, as well as an opportunity to interact.

#2 – Effective Customer Support

Social listening can help turn your social media channels into a proactive form of customer support.

Many customers see social media as a support channel (along with phone and email). Because of this, you must use social media to monitor requests for help, and either take the support request to another channel or lend assistance on the social media channel itself.

Several months ago, I personally used Twitter to get help from Grammarly, a writing tool that I use:

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Within a few hours, the team had got back to me with the best way to get the help that I needed.

1641971469 489 8 Things Social Media Listening Can Do For Your Brand

This simple response was an acknowledgement of my problem, and they pointed me in the right direction to get help.

Having standardized responses to feedback and complaints is good, but remember that a canned response isn’t always the best.

A prime example is EA’s post on Reddit about a disgruntled customer and micro-transactions. The result was the most downvoted comment in the history of Reddit.

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#3 – Monitor The Industry

Social listening helps you keep on track of ‘hype’ before it becomes a trend. Staying on top of popular hashtags, specific profiles, and other influential personalities, you’re able to get an idea of the environment your brand will operate in tomorrow.

Having such foresight, and working with your marketing team and their plans can help you adapt a product’s position, target audience, or even USPs.

This is akin to social media monitoring, however, it’s also an excellent opportunity to take cues from a more comprehensive environment and assess how they relate to your brand. For example, is your product always being mentioned by eco-activists or environmentally conscious consumers? Perhaps teens that are head over heels about TikTok.

In monitoring the industry and environment that your product is a part of, you’re blending social media monitoring with listening.  

#4 – Improve Your Reputation

Below, you can see how a disgruntled user of Moonpig took his frustration to Twitter.

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Most of what happens (including the above Tweet) on the internet is there for anyone and everyone to see. Moonpig has an option here – they can reach out and try and fix the problem, not contact Jonathan but try and fix the problem, or do neither. Any of those options will undoubtedly have an effect on their reputation.

So your brand’s proactive approach to listening and interacting with fans and customers on social media helps improve and manage your reputation. And it’s a positive reputation that’ll help more people trust your brand.

But part of building (and maintaining) that positive reputation is also knowing when not to engage and talk. Not all mentions of your brand have to have your interaction proceeding them.

Different communities, people, and groups may talk about you in different ways. But what’s important is that you know that they’re not always talking to you. Therefore, knowing when not to talk is just as important as knowing when to talk.

#5 – Finding (And Managing) Advocates

Customers that like your brand are critical to effectively spreading your brand’s name amongst their social circles. But it’s brand advocates that can truly thrust your brand into new markets. Brand advocates elevate your brand using word of mouth marketing. WOM marketing is known to be some of the most effective marketing, as a personal recommendation (that’s not paid for) builds a lot of trust.

Social media listening can help you identify brand advocates or those who may very well become advocates.

Below is a great example of finding a brand advocate:

1641971469 211 8 Things Social Media Listening Can Do For Your Brand

Redken clearly has an advocate in Harry. They can pursue him to create an unboxing video, attack him with freebies like custom tote bags and other branded goodies, encouraging him to create more content for the brand. In turn, he’ll be showing off the brand’s packaging materials and unboxing experience, and they’ll use him as a traditional influencer.

Alternatively, they can engage with him, thank him and let him keep spreading the Redken name organically.

Interacting and managing brand advocates is vital to keep them effective and show onlookers how you treat those who are loyal to your brand.

#6 – Monitor Brand Growth

It’s questionable whether the old saying ‘there’s no such thing as bad PR‘ still rings true in this day and age. What is true, though, that lousy PR will have an effect on your image, reputation, as well as your growth – but the same is true for good PR, too.

Below is an example of a controversial tweet from KFC Australia. While it caused a lot of negative press, it also helped spread their new product much farther than if they didn’t have the bad PR:

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Whether it’s good or bad coverage, social media listening helps you monitor the public’s reaction to any press, controversies or ‘questionable situations’ that your brand may find itself a part of.

Combined with the right marketing attribution software, you’ll be able to assess the relationship between negative comments and sales, traffic, conversions, or some other business metric. From here, you can then get an idea of just how much of an impact (either positive or negative) such a situation had on your social media data and your business.

#7 – Stay On Top Of Competitors

Knowing who is talking about your brand, and in what context, can help you move ahead of your competitors.

As well as keeping track of your mentions, it’s essential to track your closest competitors.

  • How are brands interacting with them?
  • What are they doing that you’re not?
  • What’s the sentiment toward other competitors?
  • What’s the difference between those talking about your competitors and those talking about your brand?

Answering these questions can help set you apart from your competitors, as well as take advantage of them.

Formal menswear company, SockSoho, recently tweeted an unboxing video made by one of their customers.
1641971469 283 8 Things Social Media Listening Can Do For Your Brand

SockSoho’s competitors can see this content, and not only get an idea of how much their customers love them, but also see the postal boxes being used, and the quality of the product. Some very advantageous insights.

#8 – Find Pain Points & Product Improvements

If people aren’t 100% satisfied with your product, they’ll more than likely take to social media to vent their frustrations.

This may be an attempt to ‘publicly shame’ a brand; it may be to get fast support in the public eye.

Either way, the information you receive via social listening can be valuable to improve a product and minimize pain points.

There’s a fine line between criticism and constructive criticism. But as social listening makes you privy to both, you’re able to filter what’s productive from what’s not. This constructive criticism can be passed on to relevant departments to develop further improvements.

Conclusion

For brands of all shapes and sizes, social media listening is the first step in making social media work for them. If you want to make social media listening effective, it’s essential to have a plan.

Your tone of voice, which conversations you address, and in what way you address them, all these things help make your social media listening effective. Any social media channel that your brand has a presence on can become a marketing channel and customer support and sales channel in time.


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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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